Culture is one of the most  important  components,  which  form  every
nation. It is one occurrence that distinguishes and unites  all  the  people
who live in the world. But it is impossible to imagine the  culture  without
music, a very big part of our life.
      Every nation has ones own music and I think  that  inside  music  are
concluded all peculiarities of  the  nation,  it  is  contain  the  key  for
understand the soul of people.
      When I was associated with foreigners (they were  Americans)  I  noted
that they liked our folk music, they frequently  listened  it  and  each  of
them had without fail an audiocassette with Russian folk  music.  They  told
me about the most popular in United States Russian  singers  and  composers.
Our pop music is not famous outside  Russia.  But  many  people  from  other
countries love our folk and classical music.
      On the contrary we know nothing  about  American  folk  and  classical
music and I would like to discuss about it.
      By my opinion  a  serious  study  of  American  music  is  arrestingly
important at this time. Music has become on of American  leading  industries
American performing standards are probably now higher than anywhere else  in
the world, and Americans are making rapid strides in  music  education.  How
large a part in all this activity is American music to  play?  How  good  is
it? How does it differ from Russian music?
      There are many signs of an awakened interest in American  composition.
More of it is performed, published, and  recorded  than  ever  before.  This
interest is not confined to the United States alone.  During  the  past  few
years Russians who have always liked American popular music  (like  Brithney
Spears, Madonna, Michael Jackson) have discovered that America have  several
composers in the  serious  field  well  worth  its  attention.  As  for  the
foundations,  fortunes  are  being  spent  to  discover,  to  train  and  to
encourage American native talent.
      We could imagine a pattern, which would include Billings,  Harris  and
Gershwin.  Each  of  them  contributed  substantially  to  American  musical
tradition,  and  when  American  can  grasp  their  interrelationship   they
perceive that there is indeed an American music, a hardy one just  beginning
to fell its strength and destined to stand beside their other  contributions
to world culture.
      I would like to tell about my three favorites American composers.
      George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn on September 25, 1989. He was  by
no means a prodigy, and  his  musical  education  was  spasmodic.   He  took
lessons at the piano and later studied harmony. In his teens, he acquired  a
job as song plugger at one of the largest publishing houses. Before long  he
was writing songs of his own; and in 1919, he was the  proud  present  of  a
hit that swept the  country    Swanee.  His  rise  as  one  of  the  most
successful composers for the Broadway stage was rapid.
      In 1924, he composed his first serious work in  the  jazz  idiom,  the
historic Rhapsody in Blue  the  success  of  which  made  Gershwin  famous
throughout the world of music. After that he divided his activities  between
writing popular music for the Broadway stage (and later  for  the  Hollywood
cinema) and serious works for concert hall consumption. In both  fields,  he
was extraordinary successful and popular. He died in Hollywood on  June  11,
1937, after an unsuccessful operation on the brain.
      It is mainly since Gershwins death that  complete  awareness  of  his
musical importance has become almost universal. The little  defects  in  his
major  works    those  occasional   awkward   modulations,   the   strained
transitions, the  obscure  instrumentation    no  longer  appear  quite  so
important as they did several decades ago. What many did  not  realize  then
and what they now know   is  that  the  intrinsically  vital  qualities  of
Gershwins works reduce these technical flaws to insignificance.  The  music
is so alive,  so  freshly  conceived,  and  put  down  on  paper  with  such
spontaneity and enthusiasm that is youthful  spirit  refuses  to  age.   The
capacity of this music to enchant and magnetize audiences remains as  great
today, even with, familiarity, as it was yesterday, when  it  came  upon  us
with the freshness of novelty.
      That he had a wonderful reservoir of melodies was,  of  course,  self-
evident when Gershwin was alive. What was not  quite  so  obvious  then  was
that he had impressed his identity on those melodies  his way of shaping  a
lyric line, his use of certain rhythmic phrases, the piquant effect of  some
of his accompaniments  so that they would always remain recognizably his.
      Other my favorite American composers is Roy Harris.
      Few American composers of XX century and our  time  have  achieved  so
personal a style as Roy Harris. His  music  is  easily  identified  by  many
stylistic traits to which he has doing  through  his  creative  development:
the long themes which span many bars before pausing to catch a  breath,  the
long and involved development  in  which  the  resources  of  variation  and
transformation  are  utilized   exhaustively,   the   powerfully   projected
contrapuntal lines, the modal harmonies and the asymmetrical rhythms  are  a
few of the qualities found in most Harriss works.
       Through  Harris  has  frequently  employed  the  forms  of  the  past
(toccata, passacaglia, fugue, etc), has shown  a  predilection  for  ancient
modes, and en occasion has  drawn  thematic  inspiration  from  Celtic  folk
songs and Protestant hymns,  he  is  modern  in  spirit.  His  music  has  a
contemporary pulse, the cogent drive  and  force  of  present  day  living;
there is certainly nothing archaic about it. More  important  still,  it  is
essentially American music, even in those works in which he  does  not  draw
his ideas from folk or popular  music.  The  broad  sweep  of  his  melodies
suggests the vast plains of  Kansas,  the  open  spaces  of  the  West.  The
momentum of his rhythmic drive is American in its nervousness and  vitality.
But in subtler qualities, too, Harriss music is the music of America.  The
moods, Harris once wrote, which  seem  particularly  American  to  me  are
noisy  ribaldry,  then  sadness,  a  groping  earnestness  which  amount  to
suppilance toward those deepest spiritual yearnings within ourselves;  there
is little grace or mellowness in our midst.
      Such moods as noisy ribaldry, sadness, groping earnestness are  caught
in Harriss music, and to these moods are added  other  American  qualities;
youthful vigor, health, optimism and enthusiasm.
      Harris was born in the Lincoln  country,  Oklahoma,  on  February  12,
1898. While still a child, he learned to play the clarinet  and  the  piano.
In 1926 he went to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger. In  Paris  he  wrote
his first major works: of them, The Concerto for  the  Piano,  Clarinet  and
String Quartet (1927) was the most successful. His Fifth Symphony  has  been
dedicated to the Heroic and Peace-loving People of the Soviet Union.
      I guess, we know nothing about American  folk  music  excepting  jazz-
singers and composers. The sole  and  the  most  famous  of  them  is  Louis
Armstrong. I believe that all people know this name  and  I  would  like  to
tell about my favorite album of his legendary music, its called Louis  and
the Good Book.
      Anyone who has ever read a history book on jazz knows that  theres  a
connection between jazz, spiritual music, work  songs  and  the  blues.  But
often  historians  dont  explain  this  relationship  clearly  enough.  The
phrasing of the arrangements for the brass and read  sections  in  big  jazz
bands are of course a direct inheritance from the preachers  call  and  the
parishioners customary response in church. The some  is  true  for  todays
funky songs, which derives  from  gospel.  But  all  this  illuminates  only
specific styles without saying anything about the antecedence and legacy  of
jazz in general. This album introduces some aspects of this history  and  by
my opinion is the best album of Louis Armstrong.
      During the first three years of his recording career, Louis  Armstrong
played blues and stomps. In fact, that was what  he  recorded  in  his  very
first session with king Oliver in 1923. Then same rhythmical airs and  other
hits of that era were added. During those years his  technique  and  musical
concepts acquired such a degree of substance and affluence  that  he  became
the first jazz virtuoso. Beginning with the late 20s he added  a  new  kind
of melody to his repertoire: the ballad. In these interpretations  another
side of his talent unfolded, incorporating a whole series of standards  into
his jazz repertoire. Standards refer to themes taken up  by  all  musicians.
Thus, he not only demonstrated that jazz phrasing  is  applicable  to  these
kinds of melodies and tempos, but he did it so well that the  mood  of  show
ballads became an integral part of every form  of  jazz.  This  is  not  the
first time that Louis Armstrong interprets spirituals. In 1938  he  recorded
same versions of four pieces with the Lynn Murray choir for  MCA.  Shadrack,
based on the traditional form of spirituals, Jonah and the Whale,  Going  to
Shout All Over the Gods Heaven and Nobody Knows the Trouble Ive Seen.  Two
years later he did a version of Cain and Abel  with  the  big  band  he  was
directing at that time. He had actually recorded Motherless Child  in  1930.
While the melody is identical to the second part of the Dear  Old  Southland
interlude by Creamer and Layton, which he recorded in a duo  with  the  near
legendary pianist Buck Washington, the melody of Motherless  Child  is  also
very close to others that he used in several blues, better  known  in  their
broad versions: Steady Roll, Round the  Clock,  My  Daddy  Rock  Me.  So,  a
number of spirituals are blues at least in form.
      On My Way in this volume obviously belongs to  the  blues,  which  are
most commonly known in the 12 measures from today. One stanza, musically  of
four measures  iambic pentameter in prosody  the stanza  is  repeated  and
finally a third stanza which rhymes with the first, completing the  couplet.
Some maintain that in its most archaic form of the blues  the  first  stanza
was repeated three times instead of twice, thus arriving at a  verse  of  16
measures. On My Way is precisely of this format. Rock My Soul belongs  to  a
different category of blues with 16 measures.  Each  chorus  consists  of  a
verse with eight-measures played in stop-time, each time  in  a  variation
ending with the same refrain every time. If you know  Georgia  Grind,  which
Louis Armstrong recorded in 1926, or Hesitating Blues, by  Handy,  which  he
recorded in 1954, or even Blue Suede Shoes, you know the  shortened  version
in 12 measures of this type of blues with refrain. Go  Down  Moses  in  this
album is structured in this manner.
      A jazz musician playing spirituals? In a sense  that  Louis  Armstrong
has been doing all along.
      A few other features need to be painting out.  The  second  chorus  in
Down By  the  Riverside  starts  with  a  break  (the  steady  rhythm  being
interrupted for an instant) just the way it is in dozen of work songs.
      In This Train there is  so-called  stop-time  interlude,  which  Louis
Armstrong used so successfully in several  of  his  instrumental  renderings
during the 20s. The call and  response  formula  can  be  heard  in  This
Train, Didnt it Rain, and Go Down Moses.
      But for me Louis Armstrongs greatest talent is  the  way  he  handles
the exposition of a melody. The trumpet solo in  Swing  low,  Sweet  Chariot
and down By the Riverside sow what I mean. Of course his  play  is  forceful
and convincing. But there  are  suspensions;  almost  imperceptible  melodic
changes showing his offbeat rhythm.  All  this  will  immediately  and  most
directly bring out the melody, enhancing it to a point  of  opening  up  new
vistas that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
      The arrangements are by Sy Oliver who was also the  musical  director.
Olivers career as trumpeter  composer  arranger goes back to the time  of
Zack Whytes orchestra in the early 30s and  he,  more  than  anyone  else,
created the style of Jimmy Luncefords powerful orchestra between  1933  and
1939. After that, he was Tommy Dorseys arranger and has  since  become  one
of the principal arranger  directors for MCA.
      As for pop American music I believe that since death of Frank  Sinatra
in the U.S have not anyone real  pop-singer.  By  my  opinion  Sinatra  was
America and America was Sinatra.
            Frank Sinatra has been called the greatest popular singer of the
century. Whether that is true,  in  a  century  that  also  offers  us  Bing
Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and many others is, of course, a matter of  personal
emotional choice and, therefore, unknowable. What can be said is that  under
the intense and fickle scrutiny of  the  pop  marketplace  for  nearly  two-
thirds of a century, Sinatra's music was in the air the world  breathed  and
fell out of fashion only long enough for the deserters either to grow up  or
recognize that what was offered in its place  was  almost  always  trash  by
      Sinatra was born December  15,  1915,  in  Hoboken,  N.J.,  and  as  a
schoolboy nursed ambitions to be a journalist. The  earliest  known  example
of Sinatra on record come from his  1935  performance  on  the  Major  Bowes
Amateur Hour, in which he was matched with three  other  aspirants  to  sing
"Shine." After the program they were sent out as a group, the Hoboken  Four,
on a Major Bowes road show.
      Sinatra touched the big time in 1939 when Harry James,  fresh  out  of
the Benny Goodman band and not yet a major star in him own right, hired  him
to be vocalists in his new band. In August he recorded "All  Or  Nothing  At
All" with James, but the record would not become a major hit until  Columbia
reissued it during the  recording  ban  in  1943.  Sinatra  was  on  a  fast
trajectory to the top himself. He left James to take  an  offer  from  Tommy
Dorsey, with whom he recorded more than 90 songs before he left. The  Dorsey
years connected him to Axel Stordahl, who  would  arrange  and  conduct  the
first four Sinatra records under his own name in 1942 and become  his  chief
musical architect for the next decade. He also made two movies with  Dorsey,
Las Vagas Night at Paramount and Ship  Ahoy  at  MGM.  But  aside  from  two
pictures with  Gene  Kelly,  Sinatra's  film  career  would  be  of  passing
interest until the 1950s.
      The band singer period ended in September 1942. When Sinatra went  out
on as a soloist, it was to join  the  stock  company  of  vocalists  on  the
weekly "Lucky Strike Hit Parade." But  there  was  buzz  in  the  air  about
Sinatra, and it burst wide open when  in  1943  when  he  was  booked  as  a
supporting act to Goodman at the Paramount Theater. Goodman introduced  him,
turned to kick off his band, and before he could lower his arm heard an ear-
shattering scream of 3,000 mostly female  fans  explode  behind  him.  "What
they hell is that?" Goodman muttered.
During the bobby-sox years, Sinatra recorded for Columbia and turned  out  a
steady  flow   of   romantic   ballads   backed   by   Stordahl's   tasteful
orchestrations. But nothing as intense as  the  Sinatra  phenomenon  of  the
'40s could sustain indefinitely. The energy ran out of the Sinatra boom  and
by the 1952, it is said, he was washed up.
With the '40s behind him, however, the stage was set  for  his  golden  age.
Capitol Records signed him up and concentrated on  marketing  him  to  young
adults through carefully planned long  playing  albums  organized  around  a
mood, an idea, a feeling, a concept. In the  Wee  Small  Hours,  crafted  by
Nelson Riddle, became the matrix for his  recording  career  from  then  on.
Among the ballad albums, All Alone, arranged  by  Gordon  Jenkins  in  1962,
stands in a class by itself for its stark sense of melancholy.
      After Wee Small Hours, Sinatra turned to develop a side of his musical
personality that had never been exploited  --  the  swinging  Sinatra  doing
upbeat tempos against jazz-styled big band charts that caught  some  of  the
feeling that the new Count Basie band was  generating  on  the  instrumental
The albums and a string of successful films took Sinatra into  the  '60s  at
the top of his fame and form. He played the Newport  Jazz  Festival  in  the
'60s, recorded with the Basie and Ellington, and played the  Chairman  to  a
colorful Clan that included  Dean  Martin,  Sammy  Davis  and  other  chums.
Talent was the admission ticket.
Yet, the force of youth movement and rock music in the late '60s  and  early
'70s seemed to shake his own confidence in his own hipness, and he tried  to
embrace some of the new material. But after a period  of  retirement  and  a
few false starts in the recording studio, he  returned  to  form  doing  the
kind of music that told stories worth telling. In the '90s his  stubbornness
paid off. The youth icons of the '60s and '70s finally came to him  to  sing
his song on his terms. Duets may have received mixed critical reaction,  but
once again Sinatra was king of the hill, scoring the largest album sales  of
his career.
      Sinatra received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983. He  died  May  14,
1998, at the age of 82.
      In 1998, Sinatra was elected by the Readers into the Down Beat Hall of
      From the times of the Pilgrims American people have  liked  music  and
made it a part of their lives. They  have  played  and  sung  and  fashioned
their own songs for all occasions.
      There were, however, no European courts for  the  cultivation  of  art
music and opportunities were  rare  for  the  training  and  development  of
individual talents. When sufficient number  of  professional  musicians  had
arrived to establish centers of serious musical culture American role  as  a
backward province of European music  was  firmly  established.  I  was  only
natural that the foreign arbiters of taste would regard any deviations  from
European musical thinking as deplorable savagery to be resolutely put down.
      Small wonder, then, that a serious dichotomy developed  in  the  field
of American composition. American educated young people, fresh  from  French
or German influences, did their loyal best to write good  German  or  French
music. For subject matter they turned to remote legends  and  misty  myths
guaranteed to keep them from thinking  about  the  crudities  of  the  land,
which they found so excruciating upon their return from  abroad.  They  did,
however, bring back with them a professional competence,  which  was  to  be
their significant contribution to the American scene.
      Meanwhile the  uneducated  creator,  finding  good  stuff  about  him,
carried on a rapidly developing music speech, which was a blend of  European
folk music, African rhythm, and regional  color,  and  discovered  that  the
public the public liked his music and was ready to pay  for  it  handsomely.
As a result via the minstrel ballad, through ragtime into  jazz,  a  genuine
popular  American  music  made  its   appearance   and   was   given   every
encouragement by the entertainment industry. European musicians  were  quick
to recognize the originality and value of this  music  and,  beginning  with
Debussy, accepted it as a new resource.
      The American serious group, however, anxious to  preserve  their  new-
found dignity, nervously dismissed this music as purely  commercial  (a  lot
of it was and is), and until it was made respectable by the  attention  paid
to it by Ravel and Stravinsky there were only occasional attempts to  borrow
from its rhythms and melodies. The highly successful popular group,  on  the
other hand, has developed the notion that the technique  of  composition  is
not only unnecessary but an affectation. Such needs as may arise  for  their
concerted numbers, ballets, and orchestrations they can well afford  to  pay
for from the hacks   (the underprivileged  literate  musicians).  Gershwins
contribution to the American scene is significant beyond  his  music  itself
in that he was able to reconcile the two points of view and achieve  popular
music in the large traditional forms.
       Americans  are  ex    Europeans,  to  be  sure,  and  as  such  have
responsibilities to the preservation and continuance  of  European  culture,
but American are also a race  and a vigorous one  and it  is  increasingly
evident that we are capable of developing cultural traditions of our own.
      As for Russian music it is impossible to describe its contribution  to
the world musical culture, and will be difficult to estimate it. Of  course,
the great musical occurrence is the Russian classical  music,  and  I  would
like to tell about my favorites Russian composers.
      Sergei Procofyev was five when his mother gave  him  his  first  piano
lesson. At the age of six he was  already  composing  and  actually  writing
small pieces for the piano and a few years later he write an  opera  to  his
own libretto called The Giant. Procofyev graduated  from  the  Conservatoire
in the spring of 1914. Taking his final exams  as  a  pianist,  he  won  the
highest distinction: the Anton Rubinstein gold medal and prize.
      Procofyev worked for nearly fifty years in all spheres and  genres  of
music. His powerful and original talent has won universal  recognition.  His
best works  and these are not few   have  enriched  the  legacy  of  world
musical culture.
      Procofyev belonged to the older generation  of  Soviet  composers  who
entered upon the scene before the October Revolution.  He  was  a  pupil  of
Rimsky  Korsakov and Lyadov who educated the young composers of their  time
in the spirit of the finest Russian classical traditions, which they  strove
to protect from modernistic influences.
      Procofyev was a man of independent thinking who traveled his own  way.
He was one of the greatest masters of the new, Soviet period in the  history
of the Russian music. Never satisfied with his achievements,  Procofyev  was
forever probing, forever working on new ideas. The development of  music  in
the first half of this century is unthinkable without him.
      Operas and  ballets  held  an  important  place  among  the  works  he
created. The opera Love for Three Oranges was written in1919 and has  become
very popular. Procofyev wrote another opera in the twenties    The  Flaming
Angel, but did not live to see it on the stage. No more than  two  fragments
of it were performed in his lifetime.
      Ballet music appealed to Procofyev even more than the  opera.  Besides
his Buffoon he wrote three other ballet scores while abroad    The  Age  of
Steel, The Prodigal Son, and On the Dnieper. The Fourth Symphony,  the  last
to be written abroad, was the most interesting.
      Procofyevs best works, written after his return to the  Soviet  Union
are: the ballet Romeo and Juliet (1935 - 1936), the symphonic fairy    tale
Peter and the Wolf (1936), the  heroic  cantata  Alexander  Nevsky  (1938  
1939), the opera War and  Peace  (1941),  the  Fifth  Symphony  (1944),  the
ballet Cinderella (1944).
        The last five years of his life brought such important works as  the
Seventh Symphony, the oratorio  On  guard  of  peace,  the  symphonic  suite
Winter Fire and the ballet The Stone Flower. Unforgettable  are  Procofyevs
sonatas and concertos for violin and many other compositions  revealing  the
finest qualities of his tremendous talent.
      Other greatest Russian composer is Igor Stravinsky.
      Stravinsky was a pupil of Rimsky  Korsakov, but  his  reputation  was
made by the music he wrote for the Diaghilev Ballet in Paris (The  Firebird,
Petrouchka, The Rite of Spring).  This  period  is  marked  by  interest  in
Russia folk song and brilliant orchestral coloring. The most varied  rhythms
are  used  for  percussive  effects  to  accentuate   the   brutally   harsh
sonorities,  and  a  highly  dissonant  harmony  results  from  the  use  of
      About 1920, Stravinsky struck out in directions that were new,  partly
in technique and partly in the kinds of subjects and mediums  employed.  His
technique showed a new restrained, a less dissonant and  more  tonal  style,
and greater clarity of form; in short,  a  tendency  toward  the  neoclassic
style. His material was typically drawn from the classics of the  eighteenth
century. The great variety of the musical types after 1920  is  astonishing:
oratorios, chamber music,  concertos,  ballets,  symphonies,  pieces  for  a
piano, and so on. Every work  of Stravinskys has a  special  individuality,
and in each he achieves a uniqueness of style and solves a problem to  which
he seldom returns. Directly  after  first  World  War,  Stravinsky  wrote  a
number of works marked by economy of means and expression, using a few  solo
players (The Soldiers Tale; The Wind Octet). Later, in his third  period,
he returned  to  the  larger  forms  of  the  symphony  (Symphony  in  Three
Movements, 1945). Stravinskys  early  interest  in  American  jazz  rhythms
dates from Ragtime (1918). A more ambitious work ,  Ebony  Concerto  (1945),
for jazz band, appeared after he  had  settled  permanently  in  the  United
      On the whole, Stravinskys style  is  essentially  anti-romantic.  The
elasticity and primitive vigor of his rhythms was  calculated  to  represent
his non-romantic subject matter,  and  his  melodies,  especially  in  later
works,  are  deliberately  matter    of    fact,  dry,  and   occasionally
commonplace, as a reaction to the expressive melodies of Romanticism.
      Stravinsky uses the tonal material of the  diatonic   (seven    tone)
scale, sometimes combined with the old  modes.  His  early  polytonality  is
replaced later by clearer tonality, but his dissonant harmony is  often  the
result of the combination of polyphonic voices. A  special  feature  of  his
style is parallel dissonant chords or intervals.
      Stravinsky was always a virtuoso orchestrator. A fondness for the  dry
brilliant sonorities  of  the  woodwinds  and  particularly  the  percussion
instruments  tended  to  relegate  the  strings  to   the   background.   To
individualize the voice parts of chords, Stravinsky often  used  instruments
of different timbre.
      As a young man, Stravinsky burst on the musical scene with ballet  The
Rite of Spring. It excited everybody, exhilarated  a  number,  and  outraged
more. Stravinskys later styles were also  viewed  with  alarm    often  by
those who had just accustomed themselves to his  earlier  style.  They  were
dry, the wells of inspiration had run out, some  said.  The  truth  was,  of
course, that Stravinsky was simply  being  himself,  and  like  every  great
artist, his style changed, as he did, from work to work.  No  one,  however,
has ever denied Stravinskys consummate draftsmanship, his deep respect  for
the past, or his extraordinary impact on the music of the present day.
      As for Russian pop music I could say almost nothing. I  dont  know  a
contemporary pop singer or compositor who, by my  opinion,  bring  in  world
musical culture anything really great. But I think that  our  time  arranges
to make anything memorable in the musical area and may be soon we could  see
a birth a new Russian musical talent.
      In conclusion I should say that music is the  greatest  occurrence  in
our life. From this work we can see that music dont has limits and  however
it try  to  unite  the  people  in  the  world.  Someone  famous  said  that
mathematics is the universal language. Im ready to argue    music  is  the
universal language, because this language understands everyone. If you  want
understand foreigner  listen his native music and you  will  see  his  true